Metaverse, a virtual future world [en]

At this moment, there is probably no one who hasn’t heard the word Metaverse because it is a trend that the world is watching after giant technology companies like Facebook. Came out to announce the change of company name to Meta in order to prepare to fully move into the development of the Metaverse.

But the term “metaverse” is not new. It was first coined in 1992 in the science fiction novel Snow Crash by American author Neil Stephenson. which is the metaverse in this novel It is a virtual world through the internet and AR technology (Augmented reality: AR), where humans send avatars to users in the virtual world or game. Also known as “Avatar” to interact with other people’s avatars and software programs in that area.

If we go back to that year We probably can’t imagine what the metaverse is. And how can it be true? But the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the speed at which the metaverse can become a reality. Because lockdowns and quarantines keep people away from their friends, family, and society. So they turned to meeting in the online space instead. Whether it’s a wedding, graduation ceremony, including organizing a party to watch movies or dramas with friends on Netflix and family reunions via Zoom, etc.

These activities make the online space not just for games or live broadcasts, but also a space for virtual physical activities where people in the new normal era can come together.

The arrival of the metaverse will not only change people’s lifestyles, but it will also bring about a huge transformation of businesses. With this trend, we are starting to see many businesses turn to studying the trend of the metaverse. Some places have begun to develop technology and create new ideas to create a good experience for customers to support living in the world of the metaverse.

What is Metaverse ?

The basic idea is that the Metaverse will be a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space. As the potential successor to the internet, it is imagined that the Metaverse will be a place where people meet to socialize, attend remote work meetings, participate in events such as concerts, conferences or games, and an individual digital avatar that represents them.

However, it’s posited that it won’t solely be a digital place where people only ‘go’. The Metaverse will be around us in the physical world with the use of IoT, AR, VR and emergent technology. There could, for example, be a digital replication of everything in the physical world, so that when you chuck on a pair of AR glasses, the shops (workplaces, parks, anything really) you pass down your physical street could have a digital presence also, allowing you to interact or even purchase physical items to be delivered to your home without physically stepping inside.

The key features that constitute a Metaverse are: it’s physical and digital, it is always on, it is in real synchronous time, it has a fully functioning economy, everyone can participate, it is a place of content and experiences, and everything in it will be interoperable. Now, it’s fair to say that as of 2021, a lot of those terms are undefined in terms of possibility, but most enthusiasts seem to agree that in some form or another, those are the base requirements for the Metaverse.

What the metaverse isn’t

Unlike virtual communities, the Metaverse will not be a standalone place or online community, such as the ‘world’ of an online game. Rather, it is imagined as an overarching ‘universe’ wherein all the facets of society, including game worlds, can be found. It won’t be just a virtual world, such as SecondLife.* It won’t be pure VR, though you can interact with the Metaverse through a VR headset or AR glasses. It won’t be just a digital economy, such as a  blockchain, but a digital economy will exist within it. It won’t be designed (like a game), nor will it be an app store (again, apps will exist within it), or an entirely new platform.7

It, as currently imagined, is more than the sum of all these parts — an augmented, interactive layer to our physical and online lives, where apps, platforms, games, experiences, communities and spaces all exist in a way that is seamless, weaving between the physical and digital.

In a simple summary,A Metaverse is a combination of all parts that simulate a virtual environment. Connect and interact between the physical and online worlds with apps, games, communities, and spaces to create seamless experiences across both the physical and digital worlds.

Business implications of the ‘verse

Although the Metaverse is a key target for tech giants around the world, no single company can own the Metaverse in the same way that no single company owns the internet. What is possible is that there are big companies holding market share in certain areas, such as payments and advertising. Today, some technology companies are already preparing their technology and targeting their desired markets such as Facebook has launched Rayban10 smart glasses and launched a VR workplace. For employees who work remotely While Microsoft  and Tencent, Chinese IT companies is also interested in businesses in the Metaverse.

Many believe that the Metaverse will create a transformation in the communications landscape similar to the emergence of telephones and the Internet, with changes in content, branding, and advertising that accompany media online. Of course, businesses will have to rethink everything to build relationships with customers in an era where the physical and virtual worlds meet.

The world of metaverse will bring many opportunities for businesses such as digital clothing brands, virtual venue decoration businesses to meet friends or host events, as well as new services ranging from payment services, Identity verification, digital currency, blockchain, and cyber security are indispensable.

Even today, the metaverse may still seem like a very new concept to many and there is a high degree of uncertainty as to whether it will materialize in the form that we imagine. But one thing that organizational leaders must consider now is studying. Follow and understand the metaverse closely to explore business opportunities in the virtual world. Because while large global businesses are moving into a new competitive field, if your business can’t keep up may escape from this creative universe.


101: What on earth is the metaverse?, PwC Australia